Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and contact tracing became the norm in Singapore, SKH was already on the trail of people who came in close contact with those who had infectious diseases such as chickenpox and tuberculosis. By using the Real-Time Locating System (RTLS), SKH was able to reduce the time for contact tracing significantly as the process can be done in 10 to 20 minutes. Previously, one of the steps involved manually checking hospital and patient records, and liaising with various departments, which could take a few hours to a day. The RLTS has been used to help MOH with COVID-19 contact tracing in SKH. Beyond contact tracing, the RTLS is also used for other purposes like equipment tracking. Wheelchairs and infusion pumps are tagged so that staff can track where these items are and find out if there is a shortage, reducing the need for time-consuming manual checks. The system was conceived before the hospital opened in 2018. Lee Puay Chuan, Director, Strategic Projects, SKH, shared that the system has safeguards to protect the privacy of staff and patients, and that the Wi-Fi network used to upload the data is also secured and not public. She further explained that the RTLS is not just to protect patients by helping to quickly identify close contacts of infected people and limit the spread of a disease. Staff must also be assured that they are working in a safe environment.
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